Jonathan seeks N161.6b more for fuel subsidy

President Goodluck Jonathan Nineteen days to the end of the year, President Goodluck Jonathan is asking the Senate to approve over N161.6 billion supplementary fuel subsidy budget for this year.

Over N880.3 billion was set aside for payment of fuel subsidy in the budget.

But, in a December 5 letter to Senate President David Mark, entitled “Request for supplementary budget for 2012,” Dr. Jonathan said the N7.7 billion left of the N880.3 billion would not be enough for subsidy payment for the remaining days of the year.

Senator Mark read the letter on the floor of the Senate yesterday.

The cash will help to maintain a steady flow of petroleum products, especially in the run up to the festive season, according to the President, who hopes that the Senate will consider the request expeditiously.

The letter reads: “The Distinguished Senate President will recall that as part of the 2012 budget framework, a provision of N888.1 billion was made for payment of fuel subsidy for the nation.

“I wish to intimate the Distinguished Senate of the fact that following the forensic audit carried out, the provision for fuel subsidy in the 2012 budget was underestimated.

As at now, the sum of N880,264,243,683.61 billion has been paid out, leaving a balance of N7, 735, 756, 316: 39 billion.

“In order to accommodate the outstanding arrears resulting from the forensic audit exercise and the remaining period of the 2012, an additional sum of N161, 617, 364, 911 billion over and above what was programmed in the 2012 framework is required.

“Given the need to maintain a steady flow of petroleum products, especially in the run-up to the festive season, it is my hope that the distinguished senators will kindly accord this request their traditional expeditious consideration and approval.”

It is not clear the consideration the lawmakers will give to the request, considering the unresolved controversy over fuel subsidy payments.

The Nation

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